In the past week, a storm of unprecedented dark blew into town, one so intense it threatened to untangle all the therapeutic work that I have worked so hard to establish. Perhaps what is most frightening is I haven’t a clue as to its origins and because I was caught off guard, I was hit by all its might.
Being ill-equipped to handle its ferocity made the pain it inflicted ten times worse than normal. Everything I tried to do to minimize its effects was in vain, and its tragic consequence was the damage it left in its wake.
I don’t recall ever feeling a depressive episode
to the degree in which I have the last few days, its day number three and even as I write this; I am feeling waves of sadness wash over me from the inside. When I am left in this state I secretly fear that this is the one, the episode where my persistent depressive disorder takes hold of me, suppresses all my happy and like a dictator, it forces me to do whatever it is it wants me to do.
This episode was different somehow, I can’t put my finger on why all I do know is that the behaviours that resulted from the intensity of the depressive symptoms were very uncharacteristic for me. I had gotten it in my head that I was going to travel some distance to visit a friend that I seldom see. I know, what’s so out of the norm for that? Well, I hate driving to places where I am unfamiliar, my anxiety hates that particular form of unpredictability and conjures up its own mental GPS map, one that sees me getting lost and stranded by myself.
What made this behaviour new for me was that it was spontaneous and without explanation. I just found myself turning onto the highway that led me in my friend’s direction. I drove for an hour then in the blink of an eye I changed my mind and headed for home. What made me decide to act so impulsively? I have never been to my friends for a visit much less to the area in which he lives.
Perhaps it was because I was so despondent, so racketed with sadness that I was looking for a way to rid myself of its heavy burden. I also spent the day ignoring the buzzing notifications of my cell phone which I admit is a very not like me thing to do. I didn’t care and hated everything around me.
These days were the ones I should have spent at home.
Although this depressive episode was among the most intense I had ever experienced, I choose to see it much like weather patterns in the real world. Every now and then we are walloped with one hell of a storm, one that is rarely seen but causes unprecedented damage. But like any other storm, they pass and so too will this unrepresented sad. Knowing this as a fact I simply hunker down and wait for it to pass. I am always aware of how lucky I am, I have a great support network and so much to be grateful for. It is in the hardest of mental moments where I run through my inventory of all the things I am grateful for. This does two things for me, It boots my moods by remembering that I have so many great people in my life who genuinely love and show concern for me, and it also distracts my mind from all the massively unpleasant thoughts and feelings. I find this calms the storms to the degree where I am adequately able to weather its effects.